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Name: Louis DiVincenti

Hometown: New Orleans, LA

Graduate Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

Areas of Interest: bioaccumulation of toxicants in lake sturgeon and its relation to environmental health; nonhuman primate behavior; one health initiative – conservation medicine and ecosystem health





Background Information

(This would include where did you grow up, how many siblings do you have, where did you go to high school, did you play any sports, were you in any extracurricular activities, etc.)

I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. I have two sisters, one older and one younger. After graduating from Brother Martin High School, I attended Louisiana State University for undergraduate coursework and for veterinary school. During high school and college, I worked at several veterinary practices and zoos. These experiences allowed me to participate in conservation projects with endangered species overseas including in Thailand, Madagascar, and Australia. Working in these countries taught me the importance of working with people. In many cases, improving the health of the ecosystem improves the health of animals and people simultaneously. This important connection among human, animal, and environmental health is my principal interest.

Why did you choose The University of Rochester Medical Center?

I first met my mentor, Dr. Jeff Wyatt, when I was in Rochester working as a pre-veterinary intern at Seneca Park Zoo. Dr. Wyatt’s connection with both the zoo and the University is an interesting career pathway for a veterinarian. I very much enjoyed working with Dr. Wyatt, and loved Rochester, so when Dr. Wyatt recruited me to the post-doctoral residency training program in comparative medicine, it was an easy choice.

Tell us about your program

As one of the Comparative Medicine residents, I spend about 80% of my time at the University working with URMC biomedical researchers. The remaining 20% is spent at Seneca Park Zoo and conservation projects throughout New York State and the world. As part of the program, I am earning a Master’s degree in Clinical Translational Research. Translational research seeks to streamline the “benchside to bedside” discovery and application of new treatments and techniques. The University of Rochester has added this goal in its clinical translational research program to become “benchside to bedside to curbside”. This approach brings important public health problems to the forefront and encourages researchers to focus on discoveries that will help the broader community.

What are your career aspirations?

Once I complete my program here at the University, I will be board certified in laboratory animal medicine. The unique training provided by the comparative medicine and translational research parts of the program will allow me to make important contributions to biomedical research, conservation medicine, and environmental health.

What are some of the things you have learned since you came to Rochester?

I’ve learned that I love the snow! Growing up in Louisiana, I had never experienced a true winter before moving to Rochester. It’s gorgeous! In this year since graduating veterinary school, I’ve learned a lot about working with people and seeing the bigger picture. It’s easy to focus down so much that you don’t see opportunities or new avenues for development, so I’ve really started to think in a different way to be able to look forward.

Any advice for prospective students?

Keep your options open and explore all your opportunities before you decide where to go or what to do.

Prospective students may contact Louis at:



Matt Skerritt

Name: Matthew R Skerritt

Hometown: Rosendale, NY, USA

Undergraduate Degree: BS, Biochemistry, SUNY Geneseo

Graduate Degree: MS, Clinical and Translational Research

Areas of Interest: Cardiovascular disease prevention 

Background Information

I was born and raised in Rosendale, NY, in the middle of the Hudson Valley. I grew up with my older brother and sister, both of whom still live in the area. After secondary school at Rondout Valley High School, I attended SUNY Geneseo. Throughout school I ran cross country, which, along with cycling, is still one of my favorite hobbies.

Why did you choose The University of Rochester Medical Center?

The preventive cardiology program under Dr. Thomas A. Pearson offered the best postdoctoral training experience for my background and career goals.

Tell us about your program

As an integral part of the preventive cardiology fellowship, the MS in clinical and translational research provided the knowledge necessary to work in the public health field. Further, the program provided for a focus on translation, which was particularly relevant for me as a basic science researcher.  

What are your career aspirations?

I plan to continue in the field of cardiovascular disease research, with an independent faculty position in an academic setting. I hope to balance research in the area with teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

What are some of the things you have learned since you came to Rochester?

Translational is really a pillar of scientific research moving forward. The best therapies in the world are useless if they never leave the laboratory. Understanding how to bring these findings to market is currently a major goal of US science funding agencies, and is necessary to keep the US competitive scientifically, and, of course, healthy.

Any advice for prospective students?

It’s important to remain flexible in your educational experience. That is the only way you can appreciate the diverse nature of the curriculum the University of Rochester has to offer.

Prospective students may contact Matt at: